Wednesday, Jul 08

Caring for aid beneficiaries like a family

October 07, 2018 | Jamaica Digo and Donna Sayson

In visiting Tzu Chi’s care recipients, volunteers demonstrate compassion and understanding in order to establish the beneficiary’s trust. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan guide the local volunteers in conducting home visitation to the foundation’s long-term care beneficiaries on October 7.


Putting Tzu Chi’s principles in doing charity into action, volunteers in the Philippines formed home visit teams in order to take better care of the foundation’s long-term aid beneficiaries.

Under the guidance of eight volunteers from Taiwan, they went to visit Tzu Chi’s aid recipients on October 7. The activity is part of the volunteers’ monthly Diligence Seminar. A total of 112 home visit teams were formed.

Days before the event, local volunteers have been busy preparing. On October 3, each team was given a portfolio, which contains the case reports of the aid recipients they will be caring for. There are also a few leaves inside the portfolio that were intentionally left blank in case the volunteers discover new cases around the areas they will visit.

Volunteer Michael Siao explained the procedures of the home visitation.

Depending on how many volunteers they have, each team may be assigned to care for two to seven beneficiaries. Every month for two years, the volunteers are expected to visit their care recipients and report on the latter’s needs or progress.

Said beneficiaries are under Tzu Chi’s Long-Term Care Assistance program. They are usually people or patients who cannot support themselves because of poverty or illness. These care recipients receive monthly aid such as maintenance medicine, rice sacks, and cash or living allowance. Tzu Chi’s aid continues until the beneficiary is able to stand on his feet again.

The task of caring for Tzu Chi’s aid beneficiaries is a heavy responsibility, but it is one that Philippine volunteer Lily Ang, 59, is willing to shoulder.

The home visit on this day led Lily to meet a 70-year-old lady who lives in a shanty on top of a landfill in Manila. With the financial support from her son, who is a porter, the grandma raises three grandchildren. The youngest of whom was born with Global Developmental Delay and suffers from hernia as well as Primary Complex, or a form of tuberculosis in kids.

Witnessing such suffering, Lily shared: “I realized just how wide the gap between the rich and the poor is here in the Philippines. It also made me see how lucky I am than some people.”

After the home visits, Taiwanese volunteers facilitated a mock case conference. Here, they guided the local volunteers in reporting the situation and presenting recommendations on the best way to help the beneficiaries. The case conference also encourages the volunteers to form a collective decision about the kind of assistance to give to a certain beneficiary.

Caloocan volunteer Angie Cai is thankful for the guidance and examples set by the Taiwan-based volunteers in conducting home visits.

“When we accept a beneficiary whom we will take care of, we should give them love and respect. Our treatment toward them should be like that of a family member, and not that of an aid recipient,” said the 40-year-old volunteer.

Taiwan-based volunteer Tsai Ning Mo has been going back and forth to the Philippines to facilitate the monthly Diligence seminar. In the past months, they have been discussing the principles of home visitation. According to him, the home visitation is an opportunity to build the beneficiaries’ trust to the volunteers. This way, our volunteers can guide them toward financial independence and share Master’s teachings with them so that they will be encouraged to do recycling and help others, too.

 Putting these principles into practice this time, Ning Mo is happy to see the immediate effect among the local volunteers.

“The visitation allows the volunteers to open their minds and hearts, bring out their observations and concerns in order to come up with a collective decision in helping the aid recipients. I believe this is a good direction for us to move toward inspiring and recruiting more people to create goodness,” he said.

  • In preparation for the home visitations, volunteers held a meeting on October 3. During the meeting, each home visit team received a portfolio, which contains records of the aid beneficiaries who they will be caring for. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers met on October 3 to discuss the procedures of the home visitations. Each home visit team will care for aid beneficiaries for two years. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan arrived in the Philippines on October 5 to guide the local volunteers in conducting home visits. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • During the orientation for the volunteers held a day before the home visitation activity, a volunteer from Taiwan gives some reminders on how to carry out the visits. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Volunteers from Taiwan perform a short skit, showing the proper way of conducting a home visitation. The most important thing to remember in doing such activity is to respect the beneficiary. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tsai Ning Mo is among the delegation of Tzu Chi volunteers from Taiwan who came to the Philippines to guide the local volunteers in doing home visitation. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Volunteers paint smiles among the beneficiaries’ faces during their visit. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Angie Cai (right) is moved by the examples set by the Taiwanese volunteers. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • After the home visitation, the groups discuss the cases they have visited in order to come up with a recommendation. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • A mock case conference is held after the home visit activity to guide the volunteers on how to report the situation of the beneficiaries and present recommendations on how to help them better. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

  • Tzu Chi Philippines thank the volunteers from Taiwan for coming to guide them in the home visit procedures. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】